Imagine a WT Paradise Earth with over 100 Billion People- Not!

by moshe 31 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • designs

    Shooting blanks..................the theocratic solution

  • Starfish

    When I was active, the idea of paradise on earth didn´t really appeal to me.

    Lots of the witnesses dream of it but for me the idea of having a house in the country, planting my own veg etc didn´t excite me. I love cities with lots going on, shopping and theatre etc.

    Also would this perfect earth be just how the congregations are with their hierarchy? I wonder...then no way would I fancy being bossed around by elder X Y or Z and told how to live my life so that all woman became clones of each other. Yikkes no way!

  • JWoods

    I have always wondered about those low estimates about how many people ever lived on earth.

    Did the link explain how they came up with the 100 billion number, Moshe? (I cannot access it here at work)

    One other point - there has to be a carbon cycle balance on earth. It requires a large amount of green plants - if you just covered every square foot with an oxygen-breathing species and killed back about 75% of the trees, you would quickly run out of not only food, but also oxygen to breath.

    And of course, evaporating the oceans and living in the Marianas trench is so ludicrous as to be even beyond what the Watchtower loons could dream up. Maybe BANE should ask the writing department for an apprenticeship.

  • moshe

    Any estimate of the total number of people who have ever been born will depend basically on two factors: (1) the length of time humans are thought to have been on Earth and (2) the average size of the human population at different periods.

    Fixing a time when the human race actually came into existence is not a straightforward matter. Various ancestors of Homo sapiens seem to have appeared at least as early as 700,000 B.C. Hominids walked the Earth as early as several million years ago. According to the United Nations' Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, modern Homo sapiens may have appeared about 50,000 B.C. This long period of 50,000 years holds the key to the question of how many people have ever been born.

    At the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the population of the world was somewhere on the order of 5 million. (Very rough figures are given in the table; these are averages of an estimate of ranges given by the United Nations and other sources.) The slow growth of population over the 8,000-year period, from an estimated 5 million to 300 million in 1 A.D., results in a very low growth rate - only 0.0512 percent per year. It is difficult to come up with an average world population size over this period. In all likelihood, human populations in different regions grew or declined in response to famines, the vagaries of animal herds, hostilities, and changing weather and climatic conditions.

    In any case, life was short. Life expectancy at birth probably averaged only about 10 years for most of human history. Estimates of average life expectancy in Iron Age France have been put at only 10 or 12 years. Under these conditions, the birth rate would have to be about 80 per 1,000 people just for the species to survive. Today, a high birth rate would be about 45 to 50 per 1,000 population, observed in only a few countries of Africa and in several Middle Eastern states that have young populations.

    Our birth rate assumption will greatly affect the estimate of the number of people ever born. Infant mortality in the human race's earliest days is thought to have been very high - perhaps 500 infant deaths per 1,000 births, or even higher. Children were probably an economic liability among hunter-gatherer societies, a fact that is likely to have led to the practice of infanticide. Under these circumstances, a disproportionately large number of births would be required to maintain population growth, and that would raise our estimated number of the "ever born."

    By 1 A.D., the world may have held about 300 million people. One estimate of the population of the Roman Empire, from Spain to Asia Minor, in 14 A.D., is 45 million. However, other historians set the figure twice as high, suggesting how imprecise population estimates of early historical periods can be.

    By 1650, world population rose to about 500 million, not a large increase over the 1 A.D. estimate. The average annual rate of growth was actually lower from 1 A.D. to 1650 than the rate suggested above for the 8000 B.C. to 1 A.D. period. One reason for this abnormally slow growth was the Black Death. This dreaded scourge was not limited to 14th-century Europe. The epidemic may have begun about 542 A.D. in western Asia, spreading from there. It is believed that half the Byzantine Empire was destroyed in the sixth century, a total of 100 million deaths. Such large fluctuations in population size over long periods greatly compound the difficulty of estimating the number of people who have ever lived.

    By 1800, however, world population had passed the 1 billion mark, and it has continued to grow since then to the current 6 billion.

    Guesstimating the number of people ever born, then, requires selecting population sizes for different points from antiquity to the present and applying assumed birth rates to each period (see table). We start at the very, very beginning - with just two people (a minimalist approach!).

    How Many People Have Ever Lived On Earth?
    Year Population Births per 1,000 Births Between Benchmarks
    50,000 B.C. 2 - -
    8000 B.C. 5,000,000 80 1,137,789,769
    1 A.D. 300,000,000 80 46,025,332,354
    1200 450,000,000 60 26,591,343,000
    1650 500,000,000 60 12,782,002,453
    1750 795,000,000 50 3,171,931,513
    1850 1,265,000,000 40 4,046,240,009
    1900 1,656,000,000 40 2,900,237,856
    1950 2,516,000,000 31-38 3,390,198,215
    1995 5,760,000,000 31 5,427,305,000
    2002 6,215,000,000 23 983,987,500

    Number who have ever been born 106,456,367,669
    World population in mid-2002 6,215,000,000
    Percent of those ever born who are living in 2002 5.8

    Source: Population Reference Bureau estimates.

    One complicating factor is the pattern of population growth. Did it rise to some level and then fluctuate wildly in response to famines and changes in climate? Or did it grow at a constant rate from one point to another? We cannot know the answers to these questions, although paleontologists have produced a variety of theories. For the purposes of this exercise, it was assumed that a constant growth rate applied to each period up to modern times. Birth rates were set at 80 per 1,000 per year through 1 A.D. and at 60 per 1,000 from 2 A.D. to 1750. Rates then declined to the low 30s by the modern period. (For a brief bibliography of sources consulted in the course of this alchemy, see "For More Information.")

    This semi-scientific approach yields an estimate of about 106 billion births since the dawn of the human race. Clearly, the period 8000 B.C. to 1 A.D. is key to the magnitude of our number, but, unfortunately, little is known about that era. Some readers may disagree with some aspects - or perhaps nearly all aspects - of the table, but at least it offers one approach to this elusive issue. If we were to make any guess at all, it might be that our method underestimates the number of births to some degree. The assumption of constant population growth in the earlier period may underestimate the average population size at the time. And, of course, pushing the date of humanity's arrival on the planet before 50,000 B.C. would also raise the number, although perhaps not by terribly much.

    So, our estimate here is that about 5.8 percent of all people ever born are alive today. That's actually a fairly large percentage when you think about it.

  • moshe

    I hope this gives you something to do at work now, Jwoods!

  • JWoods

    In any case, life was short. Life expectancy at birth probably averaged only about 10 years for most of human history. Estimates of average life expectancy in Iron Age France have been put at only 10 or 12 years. _____ Thanks, Moshe. The above is a very important factor that I have never heard a witness mention: With short life expectancy, the NUMBER of persons to be brought back and live on a new earth could well be close to an order of magnitude greated than what we might imagine by using modern life expectancy. Well, it really makes the physical new earth look increasingly unsustainable as a JW doctrine, doesn't it? Not to mention that nothing scientifically indicates that the solar system is in any way everlasting and other obvious physical difficulties.

  • Dark Side
    Dark Side

    Number who have ever been born 106,456,367,669

    I found the exact same figure, and did some calculating...

    There are roughly 57,500,000 square miles of dry land on planet earth.

    This equates to approximately 1,603,008,000,000,000 square feet (27,878,400 square feet in a square mile)

    This allows 15,057 square feet for every person who has ever lived (106,456,367,669 into 1,603,008,000,000,000 = 15,057 square feet)

    15,057 square feet = .00054 square miles (27,878,400 square feet in a square mile)

    15,057 square feet = 1,399 square meters (10.76 square feet in a square meter)

    15,057 square feet = 1,673 square yards (9 square feet in 1 square yard)

    To put it into perspective, that's roughly a 1/3 of an American football field (1673 divided by 5000 = .3346)

    Here's the kicker. The 57,500,000 square miles of land on earth includes all dry land, including forests, jungles, deserts, high mountains, tundra, etc. Only about 1/4 of all dry land (approximately 14,373,000 square miles) is arable, meaning it can be cultivated and used to grow food

    Do the math

  • moshe

    Dark Side, the math does not work does it? The WT, I believe prefaces their discussions of of their Paradise Earth doctrine with the word, "hope" somewhere in the sentence. Of course JWs never learn the difference between hope/opinion and fact. Otherwise they would see the fallacy of the whole WT new earth teaching.

    JWoods, I too, never considered the short life expectancy of ancient people when I originally studied the WT's population figures. It wouldn't surprise me, if 500 million people have died since the little blue Truth book was released.

  • JWoods
    JWoods, I too, never considered the short life expectancy of ancient people when I originally studied the WT's population figures. It wouldn't surprise me, if 500 million people have died since the little blue Truth book was released.

    And so if you add this all up using realistic data, we are back to various "hand-waving" explanations of how "Jehovah will just take care of everything" - maybe crops will make 10 times as much food as before, maybe people will not have to eat as much, maybe O2 will just come out of the rocks, maybe - maybe - maybe...

    Anything to avoid the obvious - it is all BS.

  • moshe

    There was no energy crisis in 1950, and wouldn't be today, if our population growth had been stopped. All during the modern day history of the WT Society, they have been proclaiming Jehoobah's Kingdom as the only hope for mankind, meanwhile mankind and the Earth are eating/consuming themselves out of house and home. So far Jehoobah and the JW's have done nothing to solve our pressing needs on this earth- in fact they have contributed to the destruction of our forests, by printing hundreds of millions of useless WT books and magazines, that have all ended up in the garbage.

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